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(Not sure if this needs an adult rating or not, I mention fetishes but try to keep the details out. I haven't been on Live Journal or artist-beware in years so if I have faux pas I appologize in advance...)

It seems that no matter how detailed I lay out my commission information or TOS someone comes along wanting to do something complicated and I wondered how others would price in that situation.

Recent examples include a repeating customer asking me to do a character sheet, but then wants me to draw their character in extra poses performing just about every fetish they have... the last time all the extra work priced them out of wanting to pay for the commission, which sucks of course but the last commission would be seriously under priced for the amount of work I'd be doing.
Other commission kind of ended up going the same route because the customer wanted me to lay out a character so complex that they were going to require five different pages to completely explain. I wish I was making this up...

And now a new commission I'd like to keep is a comic, but the customer wants to do versions of pages. And by that I mean they want charcters to be female in one page then male in another, for example, plus different fetishy adult things I don't feel I need to detail.

But how do I price something like that? Changing the sex of characters sounds like a small detail but can portientially mean redrawing several panels in the comic... but I don't want to scare away customers with inflated prices due to all the extra work. I'm hoping I can arrange to maybe doing one version of the comic to start off with, then do the edits later so that the work-load and price at least gets evened out by time.

But yeah, what do? Also, any way to attract perhaps simipler commissions? Like single ones? Beause I'm getting hit hard with the complexity stick lately. Some may be trying to get extra work for basic commission prices maybe, but others I know don't do it on purpose.

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
celestinaketzia
Jun. 4th, 2016 11:38 pm (UTC)
"but I don't want to scare away customers with inflated prices due to all the extra work."

Well, here's the deal. It's not inflated in the slightest if you're going to have to go back and do hours worth of extra work. The reason this client keeps hitting you with this kind of work is precisely because they know they can get all of these complicated details for little to nothing.

So, what I personally would do is quote them for all the edits. If they balk, I'd let them know that we can do the base commission first and as they come by the funds we can do the edit pieces down the line.

If they're not into that, then ask them what their ideal budget is and let them know how many of these special versions you are willing to do for that price.

You can also advertise that you're doing a "special" on singles if you can afford to knock off $5. Sometimes when I was mentally drained on the complex stuff, I'd do something similar.
gatekat
Jun. 5th, 2016 01:23 am (UTC)
This, all of it.

Plus you don't need a complicated price list, just one that covers additions. It's not really different than an extra character. Each extra or redone final product sketch is A extra, each lineart is B extra, flat colored is C extra, each shaded color is D and so on.

If you do traditional and the changes require redrawing the complete page, it's a completely new page for pricing, not an addition IMO.

Just put this information in your FAQ rather than your head so they can do the math themselves.
snowhawk
Jun. 5th, 2016 02:00 am (UTC)
Both of these comments.

Fandom commissions are -severely- underpriced as it is, and people have just gotten too used to this. :/
leahtaur
Jun. 5th, 2016 05:19 am (UTC)
I know how you feel about longing for some simpler work sometimes. Sometimes you just want to be done and move on to the next one! I like YCHs for this reason. I get to decide the complexity of the pose and outfit or background if any. And I don't know if it's the YCH format or what but they tend to attract the customers who are laid back and easy going about how their character is portrayed, whereas my full price, non YCH commissions can attract the "no my character's back stripe is three pixels wider" customers (not always and not even most of the time, but more often than YCHs.)

Also consider wing-it style commissions, ones that don't come with alterations unless you've missed something clear from the ref. When you're done you are DONE and you can make good headway through your commission list with a minimum of waiting on responses from customers.
chronidu
Jun. 5th, 2016 10:25 pm (UTC)
Basically everything Celestina said! Price yourself by the time you spend on the art, you can only hurt yourself and other artists by undervaluing the work you do!

Yes, this does mean there will be people who can't buy it, but that is normal. Remember that you are working as a practiced professional in a trade skill that you've spent years improving and perfecting, you should be earning as such.

Again also seconding on Celestina on asking your commissioner what their budget is, and what they're looking to spend! You can then work with them from there on what you could accomplish for that price
sbneko
Jun. 6th, 2016 12:45 am (UTC)
Commenting to give ideas for doing less large commissions.

- Like said, YCH's here are amazing. It leaves you creative freedom and you can find something interesting to you and yet still simple. It also gives the commissioner an idea of what they're getting, and many commissioners aren't good at thinking up poses, so this suits them very well.

- Advertise commissions and say what you'd like to do. Once in a while, I really want to do something more specific, say, commissions were I can design the clothing. Advertise the commission as that, many are more then fine with that. So, post a journal describing the type of commission you're taking on. Or, take x slots of simple and 1-2 slots of complex.

I often adjust the amount of commissions I take on at a time to suit the complexity. So a few simple ones to do inbetween the large ones.

- Do artistic freedom commissions, or my personal preference: Partial freedom.
I ask for guidelines/character personality/character likes, and then the pose/elements/complexity is up to me.

Also, I've made it a habit to do 2-4 pose sketches for commissioners. If you're looking to do something easier on you while still interesting, this is great because you can try things out and commissioners love having the option.
tisiphone
Jun. 6th, 2016 09:03 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't worry about scaring customers away with your pricing, especially if these are overly complex jobs in the first place that you don't necessarily want to do. I would also offer a breakdown (for example, $X/panel for the first set of drawings, plus $(X-Y)/panel for every panel that needs to be revised). If the price is too high but they still want the work, they'll simplify, or do as you suggest and do the work in stages, or find someone cheaper. Any way it works out, you absolutely should not price yourself down because a client's complex demands drive their bill up. Value yourself, your time and your effort first and foremost, because it's the only way to make a living with creative work.
sresla
Jun. 7th, 2016 05:11 am (UTC)
There's always the option of simply saying "No."

You: I'd love to work with you on this project, but I don't feel I can devote the amount of time it'd require to properly do it justice. I know how important ___ is to you and I don't want you to feel you've received anything less than my best work.

Or, simply closing commissions except for a certain type (since it sounds like you need a change of pace). Artists close and open commission types all the time and if you need a break from the intricate to go to something more simple offer that as the only type of commission you're taking at the moment.

You: Right now, I am only doing ___ commissions. You can see examples of this in my (gallery link). Please keep me in mind for the next time I open up for ___.

Feel free to be as specific with things like, "Single Pose Ref sheets" or "Basic character design Ref sheets" with details like "no more than one set of markings (stripes/spots/etc)".

I've also seen a lot of artists have luck with sketch streams where people are paying for an hour of the artist's time. This can keep things fresh and forces brevity of design due to the amount of time allotted (as long as you can generally complete what the customer wants). Sketches are, by design, not very intricate and as long as customers are going in knowing that, you should be in good shape.

From a purely customer standpoint, I am in love with sketch streams right now. There's something amazing about telling someone "I want this" and then seeing two squiggly lines suddenly become a face or a hand. Coming from someone who doesn't have any artistic ability that I've ever been able to express, seeing art created like that is almost magical. I've never failed to feel like I've gotten my money's worth from the streams I regularly attend.
jebboy
Jun. 7th, 2016 06:13 pm (UTC)
I'd hundred percent treat both comics where the character has different(I'm assuming) reproductive organs as two different commissions. Specially Considering one can't assume what kind of change they want when it comes to sex. Intersex and trans characters and even cis characters don't have the same organs,it varies greatly between person to person.


Sure they'd have to pay a lot more but in the end if they can't pay for all the work they could still just pay for one.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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